College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Leonard A. Jason, PhD

Second Advisor

LaVome Robinson, PhD


Background: In the past 30 years the rate of increase in incarceration for females who abuse substances has outpaced that of men. Women have increased health and economic disparities, and face barriers to economic mobility, increasing their risk of returning to the criminal justice system. Past research suggests that there is a positive relationship between living in Oxford House and employment wages, yet the impact of having a criminal history on this relationship was unknown. Method: This study used a nationwide sample of 136 women living in Oxford Houses in a regression analysis with length of stay in Oxford House predicting employment wages, and moderated by criminal history. Results: There was a positive relationship between length of stay and wages. Criminal history modified the association between length of stay and wages, and length of stay had a significantly greater impact on wages for women with criminal convictions. Implications: The findings provide a contribution to criminological and economic literature by identifying a setting that decreases economic disparities for formerly incarcerated women. Results can inform future policy, research, and the development of gender sensitive aftercare programs, assisting transitioning women in reentering mainstream society, and increasing their chances of obtaining and retaining employment.

SLP Collection